Decided to get off the 9 to 5 treadmill and venture out on your own? A home-based business is the perfect way to start. Working from home gives you the luxury of creating your own schedule and the choice to work on projects or ideas you find most interesting. If you’re going to get the best start, you’ll need to invest in a few things so that you can properly serve your clients. While some of what you purchase will depend upon the type of business you’ve chosen to start, many basic supplies and equipment are necessary across the board. Here is a list of basics to get you started.
Desktop or Laptop
It would be pretty difficult to run a home based business without the basic electronics needed to launch. You’ll be working remotely and, therefore, will need to invest in a desktop or laptop exclusively for professional purposes. Though it doesn’t have to be brand spanking new, it should be up to date enough that it is compatible with most software and applications that you’ll need to use.
Means of Communication
You should never give out your personal or home number for business purposes. You need to keep the two completely separate. There are, fortunately, several affordable options for business phone lines. You can have a new landline installed in your home office, you can purchase a mobile phone, or you can use internet telephony solutions like VoIP or PBX. It will essentially boil down to what fits in your budget and what is best for your business communication needs.
Even if you intend to run your business strictly online, you’ll need a physical address as a point of contact. Vendors, investors, and customers will be suspicious of doing business with a company that only has a phone number and email. Since you don’t want to give out your home address, it is recommended that you get a virtual p.o. box. Getting an iPostal1 online p.o. box address, for instance, gives you a professional point of contact. Should someone need to send you something in relation to business, you can retrieve it from your virtual mailbox instantly.
Operating a home based business will be difficult without a strong and reliable internet connection. Though you may have an internet service for personal use, it may not be enough for your business needs. This is especially true if you have multiple devices around the house that are connected at the same time. To ensure you can work without interruption, consider upgrading to a business package.
Does your business require you to store files, inventory, or merchandise to be sold to your target audience? If so, you’re going to need to invest in adequate storage. Filing cabinets can be great for storing physical files, while shelves or storage totes can be instrumental for office supplies and other inventory you may have in stock.
Trying to run a startup without the use of modern technology like software is trying. It takes a lot longer to do things manually and also leaves room for human error. While you may not have much to invest at the moment, you’ll need to look for basic software such as invoicing, accounting, project management, word processing, and others. If you can’t afford to splurge at the moment, you can look for free versions of the software until you can afford to upgrade.
Company Website and Basic Marketing Tools
Once you’ve created a home office that you can properly function in, you’re ready to get down to the nitty-gritty. In order for your customers to find you, you’ll need to create a strong online presence. Though it can take some time to build credibility and increase your following, the key to start is creating a company website and utilizing basic marketing tools to spread the word about your startup. Your website should be designed so that it is catchy, easy to navigate, straightforward, and interesting to your target audience. Then you’ll need to create social media profiles to expand your reach. The pages should be professional but also have some personality so that customers feel they can relate to you and have a need for your products or services.
So these are the basic requirements necessary for launching your new home-based business. They are all necessary to properly operate and provide your customers with the products and services they need. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in the beginning, remember to look for free options and used equipment or supplies to tide you over until you’re able to invest later.
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